Marbella, Southern Spain

As we were preparing to leave Edmonton, I had a conversation with a long-time friend who I hadn’t spoken with in a couple of years, and I was telling her about our plans to leave for a warmer climate.  Her reaction was quite interesting.  Her immediate question to me was, “And what about your medical coverage?  You’re willing to sacrifice that?”

So let me get this straight, I’m telling you that I want to go see the world and move to a warmer climate and all you can think about is the medical coverage in Alberta?  Well, we just had our first encounter with medical coverage in Spain.

On our pre-trip visit to our dentist in Edmonton, we discovered that Susan had a cavity in one of her baby teeth, but unfortunately, she doesn’t have an adult tooth bud underneath that particular tooth.  Therefore, we needed to try our best to salvage that tooth as it’s all she’s got for life.  So the dentist in Edmonton cleaned it out and gave it a pre-filling but wanted to let it drain over a few weeks.  Our bill for Susan’s dental visit was about $400 CAD, and that’s without having the tooth fixed.

While in Spain, Susan’s tooth started to hurt again, so we just visited the tourist information centre in town and spoke with them regarding an English-speaking dentist around here.  He directed us to a Dutch dentist in town who speaks perfect English.  I called him in the morning, around 10AM and set an appointment for that day for 5PM for Susan.

We showed up to his office and he’s this really cool Dutch ex-pat who now has a dental practice on the Southern coast.  He runs a 1-man show here as he is no longer interested in having employees.  He had a look at Susan’s cavity and saw the pre-filling.  After cleaning it out, he filled the cavity very nicely and quite professionally.  I then asked him how much it was going to cost, somewhat cringing, and he replies “48 Euros”…  I was a little stunned, but tried not to smile or break into laughter.  48 Euros, huh?  You mean “FREE”.  That’s about $68 CAD whereas in Canada that would be upwards of $300.  The entire appointment only took about half an hour.

I had the opportunity to chat with him at length and he says that this area of Spain is the best climate in all of Europe, saying proudly that he did his research.  Marbella in particular, since it’s isolated from the inland climate by a beautiful mountain.  It is sandwiched between this mountain and the sea, making for rather dramatic scenery.

In fact, the other night we walked around Puerto Banus, which is the millionaires’ yacht-parking marina and it was gorgeous.  This is a picture of it, but not one that we took.  I ripped it off Wikipedia.  I was using it as my desktop on my triple monitor setup I had back home.  It’s quite a large file but an extremely beautiful picture.

Puerto Banus, very near to Marbella.

Picture by David Iliff.

This is a stunning part of the world, so much so that we just negotiated with our landlord to stick around for an extra week before heading off to Morocco.  If we were going to buy a place somewhere outside of Canada, this would be on the short-list.  As well, the time zone here beats the pants off the MST of Edmonton if you are a currency trader.  I actually get to sleep at night here and my eyeballs aren’t burning anymore.  Rather a pleasant change.

Brian

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6 Responses to Marbella, Southern Spain

  1. Mom says:

    Hi Brian, Wow, I am impressed! Thank you for your interesting sharing of your trip and this dental visit, all the photos and stories. We’re so happy for you – you’ve worked so hard for this and now you’re living the dream, and sharing it with us! God bless all of you!

  2. Linda says:

    Are you sure he was a real Dentist….

  3. Thanks for the comments. We’ve only had an interaction on the dental scene so far, but I did not get the sense from the dentist that he couldn’t provide care equal to that of Canada. He was equivalent or better from what I could tell. And honestly, that was just way cheaper than I thought it would be. As for other medical coverage, we haven’t crossed that bridge yet. But it’s funny how Canadians have this impression that our health care is the cat’s meow. We seem to be so proud of our Canadian Medicare, even though it is ridiculously slow and quite expensive. And we seem to suffer from this misconception that nobody else has health care as good as we’ve got it… what a brain-washing we’ve received. Europe’s health care is nothing to sneeze at. And from what I can tell thus far, it is faster and cheaper.

  4. Lisa says:

    Again, well said Brian. In a big adventure like this, there will be risks. But they shouldn’t stop you from achieving your dreams. It’s all assumptions until you go out there and do it. You gain so much by doing so.

    I’m so happy and proud of you guys. Thanks for writing such fantastic stories to share 🙂

  5. McLeod Family says:

    Thank you for allowing us to join your family on their world travels.

    You are an inspiration to be brave enough to follow your dreams and not live lift with regret. Too often, people say, “I wish” or “If I had it to do over again…”

    Have Fun & God Bless!

    The McLeod Family
    St. Albert, AB

  6. Jessica Tweed says:

    It’s great to hear that something like dental work doesn’t cost a fortune over there. Medical coverage is something that is in the forefront of my mind nowadays, after my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. Stephen has been itching to move to Europe, but as your friend mentioned, “What about the health care?” especially since I’m on medication for my disease and there is always another chance of a short hospitalization. Then again, a different lifestyle and environment completely might just make me better. *sigh*
    The climate and scenery sounds absolutely delightful, Brian! No wonder why you guys are deciding to stay another week.

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